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ASU Regents' Professors give law presentations in New Mexico


July 29, 2013

ASU Regents’ Professors Gary Marchant and Michael Saks gave presentations at the National Association of Appellate Court Attorneys 2013 Annual Conference on July 17-18 in Santa Fe, N.M.

Marchant’s first presentation, “My Amygdala Made Me Do It,” explored the validity and value of neuroscience and genetic evidence in criminal proceedings.

“For decades, criminal defendants have claimed inherited traits or mental defects to excuse or diminish criminal responsibility,” Marchant said in his presentation. “These claims generally have not been supported by specific and credible evidence, only supposition.”

In his second presentation, “Genes and Liability: The Next Wave of Genetic Information in the Courtroom,” Marchant talked about new areas of the law in which genetic evidence is playing an important role.

Saks’ presentation, "Statistics: From the Darkness to the Light – Or How to Sharpen Your B.S. Detection Skills," explored how to see through faulty arguments made in words and numbers.

Marchant is faculty director of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law’s Center for Law, Science & Innovation. His research interests include the use of genetic information in environmental regulation, risk and the precautionary principle, legal aspects of personalized medicine and regulation of emerging technologies, such as nanotechnology, neuroscience and biotechnology. He frequently lectures about the intersection of law and science at national and international conferences.

Saks is a Regents' Professor of law and psychology and a faculty fellow in the Center for Law, Science & Innovation. His research focuses on empirical studies of the legal system, especially decision-making, the behavior of the litigation system and the law's use of science.